I recently watched an interview with Elaine Stritch that the New York Times released (re-released?) after she passed away a couple of weeks ago. There’s this moment where she says, quite intensely, like she really, really means it: Live expectantly.
Ms. Stritch didn’t want to know what was coming her way. She wanted it all to be a big surprise, one day to the next. I guess that’s the life of an actor. Living expectantly sounds romantic. But life doesn’t just happen to us. Most of us, I have found, are doing the best we can, which means we’re working really hard toward something or other. So while we might be ready for all the wonderful or terrible things that may come to pass, and while we might live our lives anticipating the unknown with a sense of joy, if that unknown is going to go anywhere near the direction we’re hoping, we’ve got to put in some good old fashioned graft. We’ve got to plan, follow through, figure out what works and what doesn’t and quite often start all over again. And that’s not even the worst of it.